Monday, August 27, 2012

Inspired by a Summer Garden and Harvesting the Layouts

Well, the fruits of my labor were plentiful this month in my scrapbooking garden.  Having the opportunity to be the guest designer at Counterfeit Kit was a real honor and validation of my scrapbooking journey.  Not that I NEED validation...but it always feels good to be noticed.  What gardener wouldn't want to get the prize winning blue ribbon on her heirloom tomatoes at the Farmer's Fair?  Just like a flower or vegetable garden, I have been carefully cultivating my scrapbooking garden for about 2 years now.  There have been some "weeds" along the way like layouts and techniques gone wrong.  I've had some pests wreak last Fall when my scraproom was flooded by the deluge of rains we had.  And just as gardening offers a type of therapy and time to think, scrapbooking has enabled me to work through some tough stuff that life has thrown my way.  It helps me focus on all that is right in life, enabled me to make some wonderful friends and provides a way to keep those who are no longer with us close to my heart.  Best of all, instead of dirt under my fingernails, I have distress ink and adhesive on my fingers!  So through the trials and errors, it's time to reap the benefits and harvest my crops (pun intended!).  Here is my Summer Garden inspired layout:

My daughter's beloved sunflowers.  She and her friend Amelia would sing happy birthday to the little seedlings almost everyday.  I think that may have been the secret to her success!
This was a perfect month-end layout as it was easy to find scraps to cut the circles.

In all, I had 9+ layouts this month...thanks to the motivation of Counterfeit Kit.  Here's a recap:

From this...

 To these...

Thanks for the special highlight as guest designer and to all who popped over to say hi!  It truly was a bumper crop. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself - hehe!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Like a wink and a smile

I consider myself a scrapbooker and not so much of a card maker.  Some days I barely have time to complete a layout, but after completing Counterfeit Kit Challenge's 2nd mini challenge I may include more card making into my repertoire.  This challenge was to create layout and then create a coordinating card with the leftover scraps.  What a great idea!  And with everything already out and small pieces strewn about, it really was quite easy.

First, here's my layout:

Used one of those distressed pockets and lots of fun embellishments from my "Picnic Parade" smorgasbord.

And now here's the coordinating card...

I just stayed with the fun theme, added some stitching, and made a pinwheel out of a  tiny square scrap.

 And here they go together...
like a wink and a smile!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sharing 2 new layouts

Not much time to blog, but I wanted to share my latest creations with you.

And another using the Whimsical Musings blog challenge of being inspired by ice cream.

Thanks for taking a peek!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Keep a Poem in your Pocket

Keep a Poem in your Pocket
Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

Keep a poem in your pocket

And a picture in your head
And you'll never feel lonely
At night when you're in bed.

The little poem will sing to you

The little picture bring to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you're in bed.

So - -

Keep a picture in your pocket
And a poem in your head
And you'll never feel lonely
At night when you're in bed.

Ahhh...this brings me back to my teaching days and reading poetry to my kindergarteners and first graders.  Isn't that a sweet little poem?  Whenever I see a denim jean pocket, I think of this poem.    Did you notice the denim pocket in the inspiration kit?  I did right away.  I thought about finding an old pair of jeans to cut out the pocket for my kit, but I (of course...Murphy's Law) just cleaned out everyone's drawers.  Not an old pair of jeans to be found.  
No problem!  I can even counterfeit clothing...well, the pocket at least.  One of my favorite sheets of paper in my whole collection of patterned paper is from Basic Grey from their Lauderdale collection called "Bandana" as shown below.   I bought one sheet last year at Scrapbook Expo and used every last scrap of it.  After a brief bout of paper withdrawal, I purchased a pack of 25 sheets off of ebay which was the perfect elixir.  It's so versatile it has been in many kits I've counterfeited and has made an appearance in many a layout.

Here's a little tutorial on making your own denim pocket.  I used my fave paper, but I also provide some suggestions for distressing some regular paper to achieve the same look in case you don't have a denim in your stash.  And of course, your pocket could be plaid, striped or even chevron!
First I made a simple template.

Next, I traced it onto my favorite paper.


And here's my pocket.  Now, if you don't have denim paper...

I used some blue textured cardstock that I distressed a bit.  You can decide if you want them acid washed or stone washed :)

I used some Tim Holtz Denim Blue distess ink...

and then some TH Old Paper Distress Ink.

Last, I added some stitching using yellow thread for a realistic effect.  You can get fancy with zig zag stitches and even some bling, but I was going more for a classic Levi's look.

Here are the two versions of my pockets.

I made a mini version of a pocket for a layout about my Dad for the Whimsical Musings Challenge and CKC Mini Challenge #1.

Seemed like the perfect little addition to ground my cluster of flags, a cloud and a flower.

Hmmmmmm...what will you put in your pocket?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Gathering up the inspiration...and the ketchup!

I peruse the internet...a lot.  I enjoy many sites and blogs and file away lots of scrappy ideas for future layouts...sometimes on pinterest, sometimes bookmarked on my computer and sometimes just in my head.  Today's layout, "Please Pass the Ketchup!" was inspired from a few different places.

1.  The inspiration kit.  When I saw the splash of ketchup on the page with the food paper piecings, it reminded me of these photos and experience we had at Disney World.

2.  The October Afternoon blog.  I recently saw this tutorial highlighting these simple arrows.  These prominent symbols would definitively indicate the star of the layout...the ketchup.

3.  My scrap buddy, Pam (aka Whimsical Nature) as seen here.

Three times a arrows and ketchup it is!

It always amazes me how some willy-nilly stitching and paint splatters add so much interest.

If you've ever been to the Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, you'll understand the joke here.  The good thing is my family does really LOVE ketchup!

Be sure to keep your eyes open to all the ketchup (oops!) I mean inspiration around you!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Especially 4U

I know I'm biased, but I just adore these photos of my daughter.  These were taken when summer was fresh and new (actually, it may have even been before the official start of the season!).  I love the perspective of the main photo where she looks as if she could hand you the daisy right through the page and the fact that I can zoom in on the top right photo for a close-up with such clarity.  My previous camera wouldn't have yielded as clear results.  Anyway, these photos and my "Picnic Parade" kit seemed like a good match and I think the collection did them justice.

And a close-up of my paper bouquet...

And now for a round of "He loves me...he loves me not!"

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hidden Crafty Treasure in Montclair, New Jersey

If you are looking for crafting inspiration and the supplies to make your crafty dreams come true, you need to check out Rock Paper Scissors in Montclair, NJ.  A bustling suburb of New York City with a direct train line, Montclair offers a traditional main street (aka Bloomfield Ave.) with a combination of boutiques, eateries and practical shops.  At the end of the strip is a small, upscale shopping center and nestled in the back, with easy parking (no need to parallel park on a busy city street), is Rock Paper Scissors - Your Neighborhood Craft Store.  Rock refers to the extensive bead and jewelry making section.  Obviously, paper refers to the wide array of paper crafting supplies.  And finally, scissors refers to the beautiful selection of fresh and fun fabrics.  The high, soaring ceilings with exposed beams and pipes give this newly constructed shop unexpected character and interest.  Take a look for yourself:

Inspiration just oozes from every square inch of the shop!

And since I'm mostly a paper doll, I'll highlight those goodies, but I will sneak in a few others as well.
Lots of project examples and inspiration with product close at hand.

Embellishments, like these Prima Flowers, are nestled in baskets and bins making it an adventure to find your treasure.  I like rooting around for stuff like this as opposed to everything being lined up like soldiers on a rack.  However, if there is something you are looking for specifically and don't care for the thrill of the hunt,  the very helpful staff seems to know where every last brad and piece of chipboard is located.

A great selection of wood mounted and cling stamps along with their companion ink pads.

A treasure chest of bargains.  You'll find that RPS has lots of product, so when they need to make room for fresh new paper, they pass the savings along to us!  Lots of great Cosmo Cricket and Graphic 45 papers on name a few.

Here's another example of some Maya Road product cleverly displayed on this adorable vintage chair.

And now, if jewelry making or sewing are your passion, here are few photos showing off their wide array of beads and textiles.

By now you MUST be feeling inspired!  I know I am every time I visit.  Rock Paper Scissors offers a variety of classes and workshops.  I only wish it were truly MY neighborhood craft store so I could partake in this haven of craftiness.  Living almost an hour away makes it difficult to attend these events, but you can be sure when my patterned paper and inspiration gets low, I make the trek to Rock Paper Scissors.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Ants Go Marching - A simple technique for your layouts - Fingerprint Drawings

Well, if you stuck to the summertime/picnic theme of this month's kit, you may want to try an oldie, but goodie craft technique to add that personal touch (literally) to your layouts.  Remember making thumbprint drawings as a kid?  Caterpillars, ants, bunnies...just let your imagination run wild and you can turn your fingerprint into anything!  I actually used my pinkie to make the resident ants that seem to be present at every picnic.  It's pretty simple, but here's the process:

 First, I cut a strip of solid cardstock about 3x12.

Next, I used my Jenni Bowlin Jester border punch to make a fun edge for my whimsical border strip.

 Time to get your hands dirty!  I practiced a little bit first and found my pinkie to be the right size for the head, abdomen and thorax.

 Now just march down the strip making your ants!

I used a black marker to add 6 legs and the antennas.  Pretty simple and fun!

And here's how I incorporated the marching ants into the first layout of my CKC August Kit -
 Picnic Parade!

Hope this inspires you to either get your fingers messy with your inkpads or have a barbeque picnic at your local park!  Thanks for stopping by!